County of Santa Clara and the San Jose Earthquakes Start Negotiations for Complex at County Fairgrounds

Board of Supervisors approved an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement at its April 5 Meeting

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF., – The County of Santa Clara and Earthquakes Soccer LLC have entered an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) for 12 months to explore the potential of a long-term lease for a soccer complex at the County Fairgrounds.

The plan could include a training facility for the Earthquakes Youth Academy program, practice fields, and facilities for the professional Earthquakes Soccer Team. Approximately 14.8 acres of the 34-acre project at the County Fairgrounds would be leased to the Earthquakes. In addition, the County is considering the development of up to six publicly available soccer fields adjoining the Earthquakes site.

“We’re excited about this initial agreement with Earthquakes Soccer to develop a multi-use soccer complex at the Fairgrounds,” said Chief Operating Officer Miguel Márquez, J.D. “This is another step to explore high-quality recreational opportunities at the Fairgrounds. The County wants to ensure everyone in our community, especially those in areas with limited outdoor recreational options have the same opportunities to get outside and learn how to play the world’s most popular sport: soccer.”

The County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors received an initial Letter of Interest from the Earthquakes in 2020 to lease land at the Fairgrounds to create soccer fields and associated facilities. This is part of the County Fairgrounds Master Plan to consider leasing proposals for parts of the 150-acre site.

“This is a major step towards our goal of having an elite training center and singular home for all of our teams,” said Earthquakes President Jared Shawlee. “As part of our club ethos, we wanted to pursue an opportunity that not only provided a first-class complex for our professional and youth teams, but also to facilitate the development of the premier public-use youth and adult soccer facility in Northern California. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the County of Santa Clara that has a shared vision for those goals.” 

The team training building would consist of locker rooms, a weight room, dining hall, theatre, medical treatment facility and hydrotherapy, equipment and laundry rooms, coach and staff offices, and more. The professional training center would be complemented by 10 full-size soccer fields: four would exclusively serve the Earthquakes, and six turf fields would be dedicated exclusively for year-round public use. All 10 fields would be lighted and at least three of the Quakes’ four fields would feature natural grass.

“We are so excited about the opportunity to have more places for children and families to play and be outside in such a healthy way. The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds will be open and available to our entire community,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “Once again, the San Jose Earthquakes are investing in the community and the team with state-of-the-art fields and practice facilities.”

During the period of the Exclusive Negotiating Agreement, the County and Earthquakes Soccer LLC will do an analysis to determine the potential costs and revenues associated with the project, provide additional design and planning details, develop a community engagement plan for the proposed project, and produce a proposed development agreement.

Rendered drawing of a soccer field complex with 10 soccer fields and a structure.

ABOUT THE COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA 

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. Santa Clara County is home to the second largest population of Vietnamese residents outside of Viet Nam. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

The San Jose Earthquakes are one of 28 teams currently competing in Major League Soccer. The club won MLS Cup championships in 2001 and 2003, as well as Supporters' Shield trophies for the league’s best regular season record in 2005 and 2012. The club opened its home stadium, PayPal Park, in 2015, which has a capacity of 18,000 fans and is among the most technologically advanced in MLS. The organization was originally founded in 1974 and was one of 10 charter members of MLS when the league began in 1996. The team’s non-profit arm, the Quakes Foundation, launched Pledge 74 in 2020 to combat food insecurity in the Bay Area. For more information about the Earthquakes, log on to http://www.sjearthquakes.com/.

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Media Contact:  María Leticia Gómez/ Matthew Rudig;  Office  of Communications and Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119, [email protected]

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